There are nearly five-and-a-half million residents living in the State of New Jersey. Approximately 3.4 percent of these residents are receiving Social Security Disability benefits. Each year, thousands of New Jersey workers face a long-term or permanent disability that results in an application for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. While the State of New Jersey approves more disability claims in comparison with other states, more than half of the claims filed by New Jersey Social Security Disability applicants are still denied by the Social Security Administration. To make matters worse, nearly 80 percent of initial appeals are also denied. This means more than half of New Jersey Social Security Disability applicants will have to obtain a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge if they hope to be approved for the disability benefits they so desperately need.
While nearly two-thirds of disability appeals are won at the hearing stage of the appeal process, New Jersey Social Security Disability applicants face extensive wait times before ever seeing their day in court. In the State of New Jersey, disability applicants must wait more than a year before their disability hearing is even scheduled. Once the hearing date arrives, applicants must wait another two to three months before being notified of the outcome of their disability case.
Social Security's Office of Disability and Adjudication Review, also known as ODAR, is the office in charge of scheduling disability hearings for Social Security Disability applicants. Each state has multiple ODAR offices handling the disability caseload for that state. The area of New Jersey that you live in is what will determine which ODAR office schedules your disability hearing and how long you will have to wait before having your case heard in front of an administrative law judge. The locations of the New Jersey ODAR offices and the areas that each office serves are as follows:
- Newark, New Jersey
- Pennsauken (Voorhees), New Jersey
The Newark ODAR office is responsible for scheduling the disability hearings for the Clifton, East Orange, Glen Rock, Hackensack, Hoboken, Jersey City, Montclair, New Brunswick, Newark, Newton, Parsippany, Paterson, Somerville, Springfield Ave, Union Township and Woodbridge Social Security field offices. It takes this office an average of 519 days to schedule a disability hearing for New Jersey Social Security Disability applicants.
The South Jersey Pennsauken (commonly referred to as Voorhees) ODAR office is responsible for managing the disability hearings for the Brick, Bridgeton, Cherry Hill, Egg Harbor Township, Glassboro, Mount Holly, Neptune, Rio Grande, Toms River and Trenton Social Security field offices. It takes this ODAR office an average of 554 days to schedule a disability hearing for New Jersey Social Security Disability applicants.
Hiring a New Jersey Social Security Disability Attorney
The majority of New Jersey Social Security Disability applicants wait between one to two years before obtaining a Disability Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. Understandably, most applicants do not want to face such a long wait before being approved for disability benefits and these applicants wonder if there is any way to avoid the lengthy disability appeal process. The only way to avoid a disability appeal is to have your claim for disability benefits approved during the initial stage of the application process. In many cases, hiring a New Jersey Social Security Disability attorney can increase your chances of being awarded benefits during the initial application stage.
When you work with a New Jersey Social Security Disability lawyer, your lawyer will review your disability claim with you. He or she will help you gather the medical evidence that will be needed to prove your claim to the Social Security Administration. Your New Jersey Social Security Disability attorney will also help you prepare your disability application, enabling you to present it in the best light possible to the Social Security Administration. If your initial application is not approved, your attorney will be able to help you with the disability appeal process. They will represent you in front of the Administrative Law Judge, who will preside over your disability case.
While you can technically represent yourself during your disability hearing, it is not necessarily in your best interest to do so. Statistics show that you are much more likely to be awarded benefits as a result of this hearing if you are represented by a qualified New Jersey Social Security Disability lawyer. Fortunately, hiring a New Jersey Social Security Disability attorney does not have to cause added financial stress. Disability attorneys work on a contingency basis, collecting 25 percent of the back payment you are awarded by the Social Security Administration or $6,000 (whichever is less). For example, if you are awarded $20,000 in disability back payments, your attorney will receive $5,000 of that amount. If you are awarded $40,000, your attorney would receive $6,000 rather than the full 25 percent. If you do not win your disability case, your New Jersey Social Security Disability attorney will not be paid.
If you would like to learn more about hiring a New Jersey Social Security Disability lawyer, click here to receive a free evaluation of your Social Security Disability case.